What‘s your pleasure?
Any way that makes you feel good
What‘s your pleasure? - self-portrait, April 2023
There‘s this music video by Jessie Ware that came out right after the first Corona wave and it brought back the party vibe
It‘s sexy, it‘s bold but it also poses a very serious question, that too many times seems to be treated as something unimportant: what brings you pleasure?
I think we can all agree that life without pleasure is possible, but not worth while. Yet at the same time, we often put pleasure aside and focus on things that are more pressing. Yet pleasure always creeps in in a form of yet another cute video of a hamster eating a carrot:
Today I want to ask you to go a bit deeper, and think of what is the pleasure source within you. Let’s play the „And what?“ game. You may say: buying a new pair of shoes brings me pleasure, and that‘s a totally valid response (I always start the day by thinking which shoes I want to wear). But maybe then think a little bit further, and ask „And what in buying shoes brings me pleasure?“ For me it’s the feeling of being dressed in something pretty. And what? Because I like to have my aesthetic sense satisfied and I want people to see me as someone who pays attention to details. And what? I like to be an active participant in the world of beauty.
Of course it‘s only a game, but it brought me to interesting insights about what actually brings me pleasure. And why I‘m seeking certain things. Especially that many, many pleasures are available to us regardless of how much money we have on our account. Unfortunately the culture we live in tends to convince us otherwise. By stripping down the „pleasure“ ladder you may discover a fully free equivalent of some form of pleasure you enjoy. Try to identify the basic feelings that evoke pleasure - in your mind and in your body.
And remember that there‘s no such thing as guilty pleasure, as the one and only Fran Lebowitz said in Pretend It’s a City documentary series about her:
No. I have no guilty pleasures, because pleasure never makes me feel guilty. I think it’s unbelievable that there’s such a phrase as guilty pleasure. In other words—like, unless your pleasure is killing people! My pleasures are absolutely benign, by which I mean: No one dies. No one is molested. You know? And, I think: No, I don’t feel guilty for having pleasure! We live in a world where people don’t feel guilty for killing people, they don’t feel guilty for, like, putting babies in cages at the border. They don’t feel guilty for this, but I should feel guilty for—what? For having two bowls of spaghetti? For reading a mystery?
Of course it wouldn‘t be Berlin Boudoir if I didn‘t encourage you to explore pleasure in your body on your own. On May 28th we celebrate International Masturbation Day, so you have enough time to prepare a pleasure date with yourself. Use a sex toy, your fingers, or anything else that you might find pleasurable (just make sure it‘s safe to use). Plan the mindset and the setting.
Emily Nagoski in her wonderful book Come As You Are points out:
„For most people, arousability depends as much on context as on brain mechanism. (…) Learning to recognize the contexts that increase your brain’s perception of the world as a sexy place, and having skills to maximize the sexy contexts, is key to increasing your sexual satisfaction.
In other words: you need to create a safe, sexy place for yourself to be able to explore your sexuality and pleasure. Asking what brings you pleasure, both in terms of your body and your mind, is a vital element of creating this sexy world for yourself.
Go pleasure hunting this May!
Here‘s a playlist I created you might enjoy while doing that: